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Biden Says State of the Union 'Strong' but GOP Counters 'American Dream Has Turned Into a Nightmare'

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Biden's speech before Congress last night was both a State of the Union address and a campaign speech. He made his case that he deserves a second term and that he's still up to the job at age 81. But Republicans were not impressed, blaming the president for the illegal immigration crisis and more.

Biden tried to strike an optimistic tone and jump-start his reelection campaign in a fiery State of the Union address in the face of multiple problems facing the country.

"It's because of you America is coming back. It's because of you, our future is brightest; because of you that tonight we can proudly say the state of our union is strong and getting stronger," he said.

The president tried to change the narrative surrounding his administration. He started by cracking a joke as questions about his age and mental abilities have been raised. "If I was smart, I'd go home now," he said to open his speech.

Biden also tried to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing his presidency, his 2024 reelection campaign, and the country.

He focused on a commitment to fix the southern border while touting a bipartisan border bill that never made it to his desk. "In November, my team began serious negotiations with a bipartisan group of senators, the result was a bipartisan bill with the toughest set of border security reforms we've ever seen," he said as Republicans in the chamber loudly disagreed. "Oh you don't think so? You don't like that bill that conservatives got together and said was a good bill? I'll be darned, that's amazing," Biden said.

He also listed what he believes the legislation would have accomplished. 

"That bipartisan bill would hire 1,500 more security agents and officers, 100 more immigration judges to help tackle a backlog of 2 million cases, 4,300 more asylum officers. And new policies so they can resolve cases in six months instead of six years now," Biden replied.

Biden faced challenges by some Republican members over the death of Laken Riley asking him to "say her name." The young nursing student was murdered while out on a jog, reportedly killed by an illegal immigrant. 

"Laken Riley an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal. That's right. How many thousands young people being killed by illegals. To her parents, I say my heart goes out having lost children myself. I understand," Biden said.

The administration had billed the evening as a "reset" as 57 percent of Americans disapprove of Biden's job performance, according to a polling average by Real Clear Politics. 

Republican Response: American 'Nightmare'

And for Republicans, the president's address fell woefully short.

Oklahoma Rep. Stephanie Bice (R) said, "I don't think it was actually a State of the Union speech at all. It was a campaign speech. And that was evident by some of the things that he talked about. He was retrospective in discussing, you know, insulin prices that were addressed at the last Congress. ACA. Nobody's talking about the ACA right now. You know, democracy – he wanted to talk about making sure that we're ensuring democracy. These are things that are, you know, people aren't talking about now. The American public wants to know how this president is going to make this country more prosperous, more secure, and more safe."

Rep. Bob Good (R) of Virginia said, "Well, he's lying to the American people. He caused the border invasion with the executive action that he took unilaterally on his first day in office, some 60 executive actions that he took to open the border."

The official Republican response came from Alabama Senator Katie Britt who said, "The American Dream has turned into a nightmare."

Seated at her family's kitchen table, Britt laid the country's border problems squarely at Biden's feet. "We know that President Biden didn't just create this border crisis. He invited it," Britt said.

MUST SEE: Sen. Katie Britt recently shared her powerful Christian testimony with CBN News
*** Youngest GOP Female Senator Ever Talks Faith and the Time Her Girl Saw Jesus During a Tornado ***

Throughout his address Thursday night, Biden frequently mentioned "his predecessor" without calling Donald Trump by name while talking about other likely campaign issues including defending democracy and the debate over abortion.

"My predecessor came to office determined to see Roe v Wade overturned. He's the reason it was overturned and he brags about it," Biden said. "Those bragging about overturning Roe v Wade have no clue about the power of women."

The president also announced he's directing the U.S. military to establish a port for Gaza humanitarian aid. Biden tried to reaffirm support for Israel eliminating Hamas while also supporting innocent civilians before saying a two-state solution in the region was the only path to peace.

"To the leadership of Israel, I say this humanitarian assistance cannot be a secondary consideration or a bargaining chip. Protecting and saving innocent lives has to be a priority as we look to the future. The only real solution to the situation is a two-state solution over time," Biden said.

Former President Donald Trump had been posting on social media in real-time during the speech. At one point posting on Truth Social that Biden the crazy and angry. The clear takeaway after tonight is the battle lines have been drawn as we head towards the 2024 presidential election. 

CBN News provided LIVE coverage and analysis of both speeches, including the Republican response. You can watch it on our CBN News platforms or by clicking below:


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About The Author


Matt Galka serves as a Capitol Hill Correspondent and Senior Washington Correspondent for CBN News. He joined CBN in March of 2022 after most recently reporting in Phoenix, AZ. In Phoenix, Matt covered multiple stories that had national implications, including reports on the southern border and in-depth coverage of Arizona's election audit. Before Phoenix, Matt was in Tallahassee, FL, reporting on state government at the Florida Capitol and serving as a general assignment reporter. Matt's stories in Arizona earned him multiple Emmy awards and nominations. The Florida Associated Press